Estancia Los Potreros riding holiday in Argentina - Far and Ride
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Estancia Los Potreros, Argentina




Programmes


• Estancia Based Stay

 

Reviews



I’ve never stayed anywhere where the attention to detail is so perfect that it looks like nothing is really happening, it’s something really special even if you don’t ride.... but if you do- WOW! It’s one of those places that really CAN cope no matter what your ability. Hubby had a reliable and kind natured beast who balanced him nicely on his back at all paces, I had real fun on a very ‘up for it’ type of guy called Verlay (maybe spelt wrong) who was really itching to go! I was completely stunned how fit and capable these horses were, they had such amazing footing (at speed) over really rocky terrain. I had a couple of rides on a Paso Peruano too, really smooth ‘pace’. They also give you the chance to have a go at polo (yes EVERYONE) and depressingly my hubby was better than I was by a mile. Food- I dare not go on, really I won’t eat beef normally and I was back for seconds... and thirds. Such a perfect holiday, anyone can go and can’t help having an amazing time.

Sue Maling
The estancia experience was truly amazing we were both completely besotted by the whole experience. As a non rider (6 previous lessons), I took to it very well. I’d like to say it was my skill, but to be honest the horses were just amazingly well behaved and responsive, and they just made me look  and feel great. I was galloping around herding wild horses after day 3, much to my wife's annoyance as she is a far  better rider than me and I stole a little of her lime light..... oooops. However, she was also totally besotted with the experience, the horses, the lovely dogs and the whole way of life. The place was very similar to Derbyshire but much more immense and beautiful. We lassoed and played polo. We were even lucky enough to see a newly born foal, bless it! If I can be converted as a horse widower who tolerates my wife's and children's obsession with their ponies, then EVERYONE will be converted. You just need to be an animal lover. Los Potreros cannot be beaten. Oh I forgot to mention the fantastic food, it was wonderful!   It was everything we could have wished for and more. Kevin , Lu and their team have created something very very special.

Chris T.
A little paradise in Argentina's Sierra Chicas. All the sounds you hear are horses, birds and nature. No traffic around. Two rides a day exploring the area is perfect and also ideal for beginners. Favourite memory is rounding up yearlings, basically being a gaucho. Almost daily we moved horses around from one area to another. Great guides as well. Lovely surroundings.

Estelle D.
I looooooooooved my too-short stay at Los Potreros. It was (a lot of, for me) money well spent. I had my own little casita, all to myself, and woke up every morning to the sound of horses cantering past my windows, as they got the horses back from the fields around 8:15. Their horses are all great, fit, sure-footed, bien dans leur tête, as we say in French, because they have a horse's life. The rides were varied in excitement, vistas and style, always with both a skilled gaucho and a friendly guide. Loved the swimming holes. The food was great, the conversations too. A very well-organised estancia. I expect the people you send there never complain.

Carole S.
My time at Los Pots was really wonderful. As cheesy as it may sounds, I really do think that you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend. Lou and Kevin have created something very special at the estancia. My room was beautiful and had such attention to detail. The food is outstanding and I'm now the size of a whale! Every horse I rode (8 in total) was outstanding and the tack is in wonderful condition and very comfortable. (The guides) ...were all excellent. Very chatty, always helpful and keen to make sure you were having the best times. Top marks! (Favourite memory?) Probably Christmas day - a wonderful 'team" breakfast of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and champagne, a visit from Santa, a day ride on Pasos to the swimming hole and then a feast of a Christmas lunch!

Sophia B. (Christmas 2017)
Very relaxing holiday! I felt completely spoiled and pampered. There is very lovely and relaxed atmosphere and the holiday really feels like holiday.

Maria K
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Criollo, Paso Peruanos, some crossbreeds. Homebred on the estate.

Nature of horses:

Soft-mouthed, well mannered, responsive and sure-footed.

Height of horses:

14.3 - 15.3hh

Weight limit:

15st/95kg/210lbs for most estancia based riding but 13st/83kg/182lbs for polo ponies and Peruvian Pasos.

Tack type:

The tack is English with sheepskins over the saddles. Horses are ridden in a relaxed western style with loose reins.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

Estancia Los Potreros is a renowned riding holiday destination, set in the Cordoba hills in the middle of Argentina. It lies off the beaten track in the heart of this beautiful region and dates from 1574 when it bred mules to be used in the silver mines of Peru. It has been owned by the same Anglo Argentine family for four generations and nowadays is an idyllic getaway for riders and those who enjoy being close to nature.

The organic farm breeds Aberdeen-Angus cattle and Paso Peruano horses and is a year round destination known for the spectacular riding opportunities that it offers. Estancia based riding, polo and cattle work are all available to riding guests and these can be combined with other activities or simply some relaxation. The riding herd numbers over 80, so there is a horse to match every rider, and they are kept fresh and willing by taking part in a variety of work and living in a natural herd environment. The herd is a mixture of Criollos, Paso Peruanos, polo ponies and some cross breeds, though the Paso Peruano is actively bred on site and offers a comfortable riding experience due to its five gaits (as opposed to four). Guests are encouraged to get involved with every aspect of horse activities at the estancia.

As well as the fabulous horse riding activities on offer, guests can also relax by the pool or in a hammock, enjoy the selection of books available, learn about Argentine cuisine from the estancia chef, join a picnic lunch, observe a game of polo or even go for a ride in an antique car or a horse-drawn carriage. Argentine culture strongly reflects a love and respect of the horse in keeping with the gaucho life and visitors can enjoy an insight into the working practices of the farm, traditional cuisine and the beliefs and ways of the locals.

The Cordoba hills are known for spectacular scenery and a comfortable climate. There is a number of tree species including acacias, cocos and molles and wild flowers bloom across the land from spring to autumn. A number of birds, including vultures and eagles, can be seen across the skies whilst animals including foxes, hares, puma, wild boar and small deer also roam the lands with some species being more elusive than others. Opportunities to observe the wildlife of the hills, in combination with horse riding activities, comfortable farmhouse accommodation and tasty cuisine, make this a superb South American riding holiday.

Far and Ride team member Cathy has visited the estancia and would be happy to tell you all about her time there.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The estancia is a traditional farmhouse nestled below the brow of a hill and surrounded by acacia, coco and molle trees. The dwelling is north facing and its elevated position provides stunning views of the garden and hills beyond. Separate from the house, the swimming pool commands an excellent view of the surroundings. All seven bedrooms have wood burning stoves, giving the place a special atmosphere, and are furnished with comfortable antiques and wooden floors. Each room has a private bathroom with both a bath and shower.

Free wi-fi is available in the main buildings on the estancia and there is also a laptop for guest use and a satellite phone for emergencies. Guests should expect very limited mobile phone coverage/signal. Your hosts ask that laptops, phones and other electronic devices are switched off or left in bedrooms during drinks and mealtimes for the sake of the other guests.

The estancia is a working cattle farm and Argentina is known a superb country for beef production. Therefore beef plays an important part in the daily menu, though there is good variety as the menu also includes things such as chicken, pork, pasta and vegetarian dishes.

A relaxed breakfast is taken on the patio under the bamboo pergola. Lunches can be 'asados', Argentine barbecues where endless cuts of meat are offered. Picnics are often enjoyed during a ride, perhaps in the shade of a weeping willow by a stream. This is accompanied, of course, by a well-deserved drink. Meals are varied and delicious with opportunities to try local dishes. The excellent cook makes pasta and meat dishes usually with produce from the farm. Guests eat dinner in the formal dining room where Chippendale furniture is complemented by English prints on the walls. The local winery makes "Los Potreros' wine, a Malbec, and a Torrontes, both of which are excellent.

The cook is more than happy to cater to specific dietary requirements including vegetarians, allergies or intolerances. Please note that some items which are easy to source at home are impossible to find in Argentina, such as Tofu or lactose-free items, so please ensure you discuss your dietary requirements with us in advance.

NB. All guests eat together for lunch but children are requested to eat earlier in the evening so that adults can dine together later.

 

Activities

Gaucho culture and reverence of the horse are very strong here along with the oldest traditions of Argentina. For those simply wanting a break, lying by the pool (open mid October to mid April), walking in the hills and exploring the streams around the estancia will be a great pleasure. Mountain bikes are available and there are local festivals and rodeos to visit. There are annual cattle sales and branding to watch for those interested.

Those less interested in being a 'gaucho' will be attracted by the huge variety of wildlife. Ornithologists will be amazed by the bird species, from brightly coloured humming birds to soaring vultures and eagles. Partridges and doves are plentiful and condors have now returned to the hills. Hares and foxes are often seen around the estancia but wild boar, small deer and the puma are more elusive.

There are three excellent golf courses within an hours radius. Culture and history lovers will enjoy the Jesuit churches and interesting villages. Cordoba is only one hour away and there is much to do and see in the unspoilt university city.

Popular local sites to explore include the national Jesuit Museum and Estancia Sta. Catalina (1662), the folklore festival at Cosquin and the rodeo at Jesus Maria.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and Spanish.

Health requirements: No special requirements.

Age limit: Children should be 10 years or older. Polo is only available to riders 12+

Tuition: Informal tuition for polo.

Included: Accommodation, meals, drinks (including wine, beer and basic spirits), riding, all estancia based activities and transfers from and to Cordoba airport at set times.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, transfers from Cordoba city centre or outside set times, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

 

Travel Information

British Airways has announced a new non stop flight London to Buenos Aires from 27 March 2011.

There are flights to Pajas Blanca international airport in Cordoba (COR) from Buenos Aires (AEP) almost every hour (duration one hour). There are daily flights to Cordoba from Santiago in Chile.

Alternatively you can route through Brazil on the LATAM flights and miss out Buenos Aires altogether.

Transfers are included from Cordoba airport between 08:00 and 20:00. If you arrive outside these times then a transfer fee will be charged.

Transfers are also available from Rio Ceballos bus station if you wish to arrive by bus at the same timings as the airport. However, if you arrive into the main station in the centre of Cordoba then you will have to pay for a transfer. Please ask us if you want to travel by bus.

Airport: Cordoba (COR)

Alternative Airport: Buenos Aires

 

Programmes


Estancia Based Stay



A relaxed estancia-based holiday where all levels of rider can enjoy an Argentinian experience. Horse riding is usually for around 4 - 6 hours per day, either a morning and afternoon ride or a full day/picnic ride. Informal polo is usually played once a week. The estancia is a beautiful destination for experiencing the traditions of rural Argentina and a taste of the gaucho lifestyle. The Begg family pride themselves on the high standard of hospitality and on offering something for everyone! 

During your based stay you are invited to participate in the daily lifestyle of this working farm. Riders will enjoy trails through the wonderful scenery, visiting local points of interest, observing the fascinating wildlife or perhaps helping the gauchos to round up young horses. You might also enjoy watching horses being backed and trained. The chance to try your hand at polo is a real bonus and your hosts hope you will find it as fun as they do! 

The horses here are grass-fed so the hosts prefer that they do not work a full day everyday. Therefore you will change horses regularly during your stay, possibly riding a Paso in the morning and then a Criollo in the afternoon (or vice versa). The gaited and non-gaited horses are usually kept separate during the rides, so the whole group will be on one type. Guests love to test out the different horses and usually find it very hard to pick a favourite! Horses are available to suit all levels and beginners and nervous riders will be well taken care of.  Generally the Pasos are more suitable for riders with experience and so beginners will likely only ride the kind-tempered Criollos.

Non-riders can enjoy beautiful walks and treks, exploring the magnificent views or concealed rock pools. The birdlife here is particularly interesting, ranging from vultures and eagles to vibrant hummingbirds. The serenity of the area provides inspiration for artists, photographers or writers, or you may simply enjoy relaxing in the company of good friends or with a book. 

There is generally a three night minimum stay, longer over Christmas and New Year. 

Sample One Week Itinerary (flexible, subject to change during weather):

Day 1:

Your transfer will meet you at the international airport of Cordoba and will drive you to Estancia Los Potreros, the journey usually taking just under an hour. Most guests arrive in time for a late lunch and an introductory ride to get used to the gaucho style of riding - long legs, deep seats and neck reining whilst enjoying the comfortable sheepskins on the saddles. After your ride, Kevin and Lou invite you to a welcome dinner in what has been the Begg family home for over 100 years. 

Day 2:

A long morning's ride to the far south of the farm, dropping into the local village to visit a unique and unusual chapel and museum that was built as a memorial to his wife and daughter by Guido Buffo, an art and science lover. Enjoy a traditional Argentine asado lunch, sampling different cuts of the estancia's home -reared beef, washed down with plenty of Malbec.

Take a rest this afternoon to relax by the pool and in the evening you are invited to an informal wine-tasting, sampling local wines of the region before sitting down to a candlelit dinner.

Day 3:

In the morning you will ride to the Top of the World, the highest point on the estancia, to appreciate the spectacular views over the Sierra Chicas. The trail along the ridge is perfect for condor and eagle spotting, before returning to the estancia in time for lunch on the verandah.

In the afternoon it's time for a demonstration and introduction to the very special Peruvian Paso horse. Learn more about this amazing five-gaited horse, before trying out their super-smooth paces yourself. All these horses are home-bred on the estancia, are forward going and extremely comfortable.

Day 4:

Cattle day! Discover your inner gaucho as you help the boys round up the herd of award-winning Aberdeen Angus, collecting them and moving them across the hills to the cattle station. Following lunch 'gaucho style' under a shady tree, see if you can master the art of the lasso in the corrals before some lovely long open canters along the top of the hills as you return to the estancia for tea and cake on the verandah.

Day 5:

The ride this morning drops down to the hidden waterfall where you can take a dip or just take a few moments to relax in the cool shade. From there a wonderful long canter takes you up to 'Potrero de Niz', the original Begg family home, where you still stop for a delicious picnic lunch on the porch. Perched on the top of a hill, the house has stunning views across the valley and your hosts warn that a you will never want to leave! In the afternoon, ride back via the 'Bellstone' which will have the geologists amongst you scratching your heads. Tonight the chefs open the kitchen doors and invite you to join them in preparing some local dishes whilst sampling some fabulous Argentine wines. 

Day 6:

No horse-riding holiday to Argentina would be complete without trying your hand at the 'Sport of Kings' - polo! You will head down to the polo field for a short lesson, some 'stick and ball' practice and then to play your first few chukkas of this highly addictive game. After a barbeque lunch challenge the gauchos to some gaucho games of barrel racing and 'sortija' - this involves threading a stick through a small ring whilst riding at speed! 

Day 7:

On your final day, ride through plunging gorges and over soaring mountain tops to reach 'Las Tasas' - a gorgeous natural swimming-hole where you can dive, swim or take a snooze in the sun. After a shady picnic lunch, help the gauchos round up the mares and foals to protect them from the elusive puma. Tonight there will be some live traditional Argentina music with a glass of wine in the garden before sitting down to a fabulous farewell dinner. 

Day 8:

After breakfast depart for your onward travels. 

Additional Notes

- The itinerary is flexible, and subject to weather, particularly in the case of polo. 

- There are over 80 riding horses, with the herd being a mixture of Criollos, Paso Peruanos and polo ponies, which are forward-going, responsive and sure-footed. 

- There is a strict maximum weight limit of 15st / 95kg / 210lbs and due to the smaller size of the breed the Peruvian Paso horses are only suitable for guests under 13st / 83kg / 182lbs. 

- Guests can expect to be in the saddle between 4-6 hours per day, with a morning and afternoon ride or a full day picnic ride. Sunday afternoons are free for guests to relax, allowing staff and horses to take a well-earned rest.

- Guests will be asked to sign a riding waiver. 

- Hard hats are not obligatory (except for polo, gaucho games and children) but are strongly recommended. 



Accommodation: The estancia is a traditional farmhouse nestled below the brow of a hill surrounded by acacia, coco and molle trees. The dwelling is north faced and its elevated position provides stunning views of the garden and hills beyond. Separate from the house, the swimming pool commands an excellent view of the surroundings. All seven bedrooms have wood burning stoves giving the place a special atmosphere and the rooms are furnished with comfortable antiques and wooden floors. Each room has a private bathroom with both a bath and shower.
Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 12
Ability description: All abilities are catered for including complete beginners.
Type of ride: Based.
Total riding time: 4 - 6 hours per day, either a morning and afternoon ride or a day/picnic ride. On Sundays there is only a morning ride available.
Departure dates: Open all year round, except May/June.
 
Pricing: 2020:

Non-Argentine residents are eligible for the below prices provided you send us a photocopy of your passport to send to authorities. Argentine residents have to pay an additional tax - please enquire for rates if you are Argentine resident.

January-April: £375 pppn for 3-6 nights
£349 pppn for 7+ nights
£2443 for a 7 night stay

July-September: £339 pppn for 3-6 nights
£315 pppn for 7+ nights
£2206 for a 7 night stay

October-December: £375 pppn for 3-6 nights
£349 pppn for 7+ nights
£2443 for a 7 night stay

Discount of 20% for children aged 10-16.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: There is no single supplement provided that one of three single occupancy rooms is available. To guarantee a double room for single occupancy incurs a 30% supplement.

Minimum stay of 3 nights for most of the year, or 5 nights over Christmas and New Year.

Price includes transfers to and from Cordoba airport between 08:00 and 20:00, accommodation on the estancia, full board including alcoholic beverages (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, supper, house wine, beer and basic spirits), daily riding, guides and equipment, all other activities whilst on the estancia and all local taxes.

Price does not include flights or travel insurance, transfers from the bus station or outside set times, gratuities or extras.

2021:

Non-Argentine residents are eligible for the below prices provided you send us a photocopy of your passport to send to authorities. Argentine residents have to pay an additional tax - please enquire for rates if you are Argentine resident.

January-April: £361 pppn for 3-6 nights
£338 pppn for 7+ nights
£2368 for a 7 night stay

July-September: £338 pppn for 3-6 nights
£305 pppn for 7+ nights
£2135 for a 7 night stay

October-December: £361 pppn for 3-6 nights
£338 pppn for 7+ nights
£2368 for a 7 night stay

Discount of 20% for children aged 10-16.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: There is no single supplement provided that one of three single occupancy rooms is available. To guarantee a double room for single occupancy incurs a 30% supplement.

Minimum stay of 3 nights for most of the year, or 5 nights over Christmas and New Year.

Price includes transfers to and from Cordoba airport between 08:00 and 20:00, accommodation on the estancia, full board including alcoholic beverages (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, supper, house wine, beer and basic spirits), daily riding, guides and equipment, all other activities whilst on the estancia and all local taxes.

Price does not include flights or travel insurance, transfers from the bus station or outside set times, gratuities or extras.

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.